There's no question that I love my husband and I always will. But every now and then, there are little things that make me stop for a moment and think, 'Hmm. Ok, we'll roll with this...' Case in point: looking outside my kitchen window this morning and seeing a massive elk head lying in the backyard. Think the Godfather horse head scene, but outside and with antlers.
This weekend was The Elk Hunt. Remember me talking about this before? It was a big deal. However, I did not partake in the hunt. As you can imagine, it was a major guy thing - a testosterone and Coors Light fueled adventure in the Badlands. Guys in blaze orange covering themselves in elk urine scent, letting their 5-0'clock shadows become, well, a little beyond scruffy. By the end of the hunt, all had their fair share of blood, sweat, and tears. Well, maybe not tears. Unless you count tears of joy.
And guess what? He got his elk. That means 100+ lbs of organic, free-range, ain't-getting-more-real-than-this elk burger and steaks are coming our way. And that means a winter full of elk recipe postings coming your way - are you excited yet?
While the elk was hanging in a friend's cooler, my hunter came home: dirty, smelly, scruffy, tap-dancin' happy...and hungry! Time to carb load with spaghetti, and lots of it.
I typically roll my eyes at any recipe that says "start with a jar of marinara sauce", but I'm just keeping it real here. It's sauce from a jar, yes, but it's doctored up - if you're hardcore, go ahead and make marinara from scratch (and then invite me over). If you're going with the jar, check the label and avoid HFCS and any ingredients that you don't recognize as whole foods. I like Newman's Own, but there are lots of decent jarred sauces out there.
1 pound spaghetti (I like to use half whole wheat noodles and half regular spaghetti noodles)
1 pound bulk Italian sausage
1 jar marinara sauce
1 medium onion, diced
1 or 2 Anaheim peppers, diced
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
Handful of green or Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
Parmesean cheese, freshly grated
Cook spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente.
Meanwhile, add a couple swirls of olive oil to a large saucepan over medium heat. Add sausage, onion, and peppers, cooking until sausage is cooked through and onion and peppers are tender.
Add tomatoes, olives, along with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste. Cook until tomatoes break down a bit, about 5 mins. Add pasta sauce, mix and heat through.
Toss spaghetti with sauce. Top generously with parmesean cheese and serve.